One more step toward Soviet America

According to Newsday, "The White House has ordered the new CIA director, Porter Goss, to purge the agency of officers believed to have been disloyal to President George W. Bush or of leaking damaging information to the media about the conduct of the Iraq war and the hunt for Osama bin Ladin..."

Fired from your job in a political purge for being "disloyal" toward an individual human being
? Somebody has serious civil liberties and freedoms issues.

I wonder how they are going to do that. "Why, yes, I did vote for Kerry. ... What do you mean fired?!"


And here I thought you were going to bring up the ACLU keeping soldiers from sponsoring Boy Scout troops. Silly me.

The "intel weenies" being pushed out are not the bad guys. They are career intelligence officers! Unfortunately for them, they either had a backbone and provided "dissenting" intel, or they chose to support someone who had a dissenting opinion.

I wonder how long it will be before other agencies follow suit and start dismissing career feds for telling the hierarchy what it needs to hear rather than what it wants to hear?

Don't worry, I'm sure the Office of Special Plans will be able to pick up all the slack.

Oops. It seems that the OSP has recently changed its name and disappeared back into the pentagon woodwork. Hrm. Well, I'm sure the administration has something planned.

Outsourcing, maybe?

I bet it all has to do with Halliburton. That cloven footed Dick Cheney.

Oh the horror!

It isn't the Soviets, it is worse. It is Nazi Germany mixed with Christianity!

mmmm....outsourcing our intelligence activities. Ranks right up there with contracting out physical security at military bases.

To quote Jeff Goldblum in "Jurassic Park," 'Just because they CAN do it, doesn't necessarily mean they SHOULD.'

Oy Vay!

Wasn't one of the recommendations that there be a house cleaning, and doesn't it stand to reason that Bush haters and career people would call this a purge? Blame him first for the bureaucracy established eons before his administration and then blame him again for clean up. A two-fer. Gosh, Mr. Face, you've got to learn to read between the lines instead of just over the fence from Canada.

The reactionary mr. face is defending the status quo at (of all places) the C.I.A.

My brain is fuzzy at this time of night, but remembering from when I was a sworn civil servant working at a science agency as an intern back in the Clinton years (right before the deal with Monica Lewinsky broke out), there is not a thing wrong with what is happening. It is against the regulations promulgated under the Ethics in Government Act to undermine the President and try to thwart his policies so that your views of policy can take precedence. The last I remember, the regulation concerned was promulgated by either Carter or Reagan. Such is not really a new thing This is a good thing. We are seemingly actually enforcing laws that are on the books that were passed with major support from both sides. Civil servants are not elected and have no mandate to act or thwart anyone elected by the people. The rules promulgated under the act reinforce that. That is much the conduct at the agency concerned that is being dealt with. As for voting, that is something you cannot fire for. Trying to thwart the President through the work product of your agency is quite different as it is not a right at all compared to exercising one's right to vote.

Is it as simple as you make it out? I see reason to think not. David Brooks:

As the presidential race heated up, the C.I.A. permitted an analyst - who, we now know, is Michael Scheuer - to publish anonymously a book called "Imperial Hubris," which criticized the Iraq war. Here was an official on the president's payroll publicly campaigning against his boss. As Scheuer told The Washington Post this week, "As long as the book was being used to bash the president, they [the C.I.A. honchos] gave me carte blanche to talk to the media."

Nor is this feud over. C.I.A. officials are now busy undermining their new boss, Porter Goss. One senior official called one of Goss's deputies, who worked on Capitol Hill, a "Hill Puke," and said he didn't have to listen to anything the deputy said. Is this any way to run a superpower?

If this (and the other things detailed in Brooks's column) is the kind of stuff over which heads are rolling, then it's not a civil liberties issue, it's an issue of fitness for the job. The same would apply if CIA people, no matter how highly skilled or experienced, were trying to undermine a Kerry or Clinton. Or do you think a clearly partisan CIA is a good thing?

Jonathan Last (who is skeptical of Goss) has more here, here, here, and here. At this point, the extent of Goss's crimes seems to me nothing more nefarious than heavy-handedness.

Subscribe to Comments for "One more step toward Soviet America"